Trilogy comes to a climax
Kilkenny and Galway are creating quite an intriguing saga this season in the hurling championship. It has had plenty of quality ingredients so far – the Tribesmen absolutely dismantling their opponents in the Leinster final and a thrilling All-Ireland final draw, the first since 1959.
Who knows what tale the third chapter will tell? The build-up has certainly already provided an entertaining trailer.
Shortly after part II of the trilogy, Joe Canning, of course, accused Henry Shefflin, who finished the first match with 0-12, of being unsportsmanlike for allegedly trying to influence referee Barry Kelly during the last game.
Both Anthony Cunningham and Brian Cody have tried to play down the issue, but it adds a bit of spice for the crowd at the sell-out fixture, which is estimated to include up to 45,000 Galway fans.
It may play no part, but Shefflin will probably have those comments in the head when the sliothar is thrown in by Westmeath referee James McGrath for only the sixth ever All-Ireland hurling final replay. It will be the fourth one Kilkenny have been involved with – the side losing to Cork in 1931 and Waterford in 1959, but defeating the Rebels in the first ever replay in 1905.
**FULL PREVIEW AND ANALYSIS IN THIS WEEK’S GAELIC LIFE**